Simcoe SMaSH IPA

Brewed this beer January 22nd 2023, after a fairly long break from brewing….The Avery Clone IPA was the last beer I brewed and kegged. If you read my last post you know that it disappeared too quickly. I have brewed a Mosaic SMaSH IPA several times in the past and decided to go with Simcoe hops for this SMaSH…..I love the aroma and the flavors come through very nicely….

My chicken scratch my brew sheet form BeerSmith on this recipe…..gotta keep notes if you want to to repeat a good beer.

A little about Simcoe Hops from Yakima Valley Hops web site;

“At 12%-14% Alpha Acid, Simcoe® has great bittering qualities, but also packs a complex aroma of stone fruit, pine, and citrus zest. It truly is a dual purpose hop that is capable of standing on its own in single-hopped beers in a wide range of styles.”

When I pulled the sample to determine the original gravity, 1.064 to be exact, I dipped my nose in for a whiff and by golly Yakima was right! Secondly the flavor was very, very pleasant a little sweet but to be expected as unfermented wort should be sweet. As the sugars in the wort are devoured by the “yeasties” the sweetness disappears and the magic of conversion to beer happens. I have very high hopes for this beer.

Brew day did not go as smooth as I would have liked…..I have a 110 Volt Grainfather G30 system. Overall I love it but……brew day was pretty damned cold for Houston and the wind was stiff. I brew outside because my wife does not like the smell of boiling wort in the house, I think it is rather pleasant but….I make some sacrifices to maintain harmony in the house. The mash went very smooth, the equipment held the 165 degree F mash temp perfectly. The system’s pump worked perfectly for the Vorlauf process. During Vorlauf and sparging I ran the set temperature up to 212 degrees F. One drawback of the 110 Volt system is the slower heating rates as compared to the 220 Volt systems.

I use my propane burner to heat the sparge water, 170 degrees F was the recommended tempearture. I was patient and sparged at a rate to rinse as much sugar out of the grain bed as was expected. As I was sparging the temperature was coming up very slowly…….too slowly. I pulled out my electric paint stripping gun and plugged it into a separate circuit in order to not to blow a fuse. It helped, I ran it on high setting on the lower sides of the pot….and slowly the pot came up to a good rolling boil. Added 0.5 ounces of Simcoe for 60 minutes. Next addition of Simcoe was 1.0 ounce at the 15 minute remaining mark and 1.5 ounces at the 5 minute remaining mark. Added ½ of a whirlfloc tablet at that same time in order to help precipitate haze-causing proteins and beta glucans resulting in a clearer wort.

Then a set back and change of process now that the beer had boiled for the required 60 minutes. I attached my counter flow chiller and attempted to pump hot wort through the coils and back into the pot to sanitize the coil. The pump had worked perfectly when I ran it to Vorlauf but for some reason the pump would not move any fluid…..I was at a standstill …… I disconnected the fittings to see if there was clog and I could not see a problem. Started and stopped the pump multiple times……no dice. I could hear it sounding like it was running but no output……I need to get the wort cooled and into my fermenting bucket.

Plan B now. The wort is at a specific gravity of 1.064 X 8.345 pounds of water per gallon X 6 gallons equals about 53.27 pound of liquid plus the weight of the pot. I had to now lift this hot and awkward mess up onto platform of some sort in order to make plan B work……siphon the wort into my fermenting bucket. I did utter some strong words, tested my 71 year old back and pain tolerance to hot surfaces, but did manage to gain the necessary height to allow the siphon to work. I pumped very hot wort through the siphon hose and equipment and back into the wort to sanitize it all……then successfully filled the fermenting bucket.

Got it all situated and placed in a 66-68 degree location to best allow the yeast to do it’s work. Took a couple of Tylenol as a preventative for potential back pain and waited overnight to add the yeast. I usually like to cool the wort much more quickly and add the yeast once it is all down below 80 degrees F.  Yeast was added this morning and by this evening there was good indication of bubbles and active fermentation. Now, one of my challenges is being patient to allow nature to do its work.

Next step will be transferring to a secondary fermenter and adding 1.5 ounces of Simcoe hops for dry hopping. After 7 days I will cold crash it to 34-35 degrees and transfer to a keg. Then carbonate, be patient again and then enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Can’t wait to be at this point……filling the keg with my Simcoe SMaSH IPa.

Lesson learned and a discovery. The wort was at boiling temperature when I turned the pump on and with a little research the pump suction creates a lowered pressure and likely vapor locked the pump. Lesson learned ….be patient……turn the heat off, wait a bit then turn on the pump. During cleanup there was a bit of brew trash in the discharge check valve but probably not enough to stop flow. Note to self……understand my sometimes lack of patience and chill old man!!!!!!

SMaSH – a beer brewed with a single malt and a single hop……in this case Golden Promise Malt and Simcoe hops…..Yum

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop